Galactor’s latest plot involves attacking the International Science Organization’s underwater bases with old, sunken battleships.
One of the International Science Organization’s ships sails into a very thick fog. A crewmember expresses his concern about getting lost in an underwater graveyard. “Don’t be such a sea monkey,” says the captain. An old warship – a ghost ship – suddenly emerges from the fog and blows them to smithereens.
In an International Science Organization underwater base, Director Anderson paces around the room, complaining to Dr. Nambu about all the ships that are being destroyed; he is convinced that Galactor is behind it. Wouldn’t it be a twist if they weren’t, for once?
At the underwater graveyard mentioned earlier, a small submarine rises out of a wrecked battleship. Inside, Berg Katse gives orders to a Galactor commander, whose mask makes him resemble Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z.
“If Galactor expects to conquer the world,” Katse says, “we must begin by conquering the seven seas of the Earth.” He orders Piccolo to destroy the ISO’s underwater base.
Fun at the Beach
All the members of the Science Ninja Team have fun at the beach, in their civilian identities of course. Jun and Jinpei jetski, Ken drives the boat, Ryu laments that he can’t jetski, and Joe mumbles about how much he hates Galactor. Suddenly we see a bunch of oil in the ocean from an underwater leak. Dead fish everywhere.
Ken transforms into Gatchaman and docks his plane in the God Phoenix. The team examines the wreckage of the ISO’s underwater base and tracks down Piccolo’s submarine in the graveyard. Ken orders the God Phoenix to surface for some reason, and it passes through an artificial fog. Joe gets ready to blast the fog generator with a Bird Missile, but Ken stops him. “Joe, you out to know by now that we can’t use Bird Missiles without Dr. Nambu’s permission.”
Ken rings up Dr. Nambu, who gives them the permission they need to fire the missiles. Joe is ecstatic. In fact, he’s so ecstatic that he fires seven, while one would have probably sufficed. The fog dissolves, allowing the team to see Galactor’s fleet of old warships on the ocean surface. Joe gets ready to fire more missiles, and again Ken tries to stop him.
“To hell with orders!” says Joe, “We already got permission from the Doctor once, right?” He fires about sixteen, and the fleet is destroyed. The fight’s not over yet, though, as flying saucers rise out of the fleet’s wreckage and blast the God Phoenix with lasers.
Joe fires even more Bird Missiles. Eleven this time, and…that’s it. He’s out of missiles! He continues pressing the Bird Missile firing button and nothing comes out. The saucers continue their attack.
All hope seems lost, when three mysterious red aircraft appear. They easily destroy the saucers, and the lead plane broadcasts to the God Phoenix that he is Red Impulse. He laughs, “Let’s meet again!” Ken wonders,”Is he friend or foe?”
Back at the ISO underwater base, which was apparently spared from Galactor’s earlier attack, Anderson meets with Nambu again, giving praise to the Science Ninja Team. “I wonder where they are now,” he says.
“Who knows,” says Nambu, “they’re probably hard at work preparing to foil Galactor’s plots. Or maybe not. Maybe they’re doing something else. Maybe…well, they’re just out havin’ a good time.” Then we see exactly what they’re doing: harassing a turtle underwater.
I wasn’t looking forward to watching this one again for this review, and I was ready to give it two stars, maybe even one. Turns out, it’s not as bad as I remembered. For once, this episode isn’t about Ken. The other team members get a bit more screentime, especially Joe, and we also get the privilege of watching the God Phoenix fight off multiple enemy craft instead of one this time, which I found immensely refreshing.
Director Anderson appears again, last seen in the conference room at the beginning of the first episode. He’s always a welcome sight. Since he’s Dr. Nambu’s boss, and thus a very important man, the episodes he shows up in, as a result, feel important.
Some might complain about the ending of this episode, that the God Phoenix gets saved by a deus ex machina in the form of Red Impulse. I actually liked it. I thought it provided Red Impulse a memorable introduction, and it was much more preferable to the God Phoenix simply activating the Firebird again.
What will make me rewatch this episode in the future are the scenes of Joe recklessly firing the Bird Missiles. In all the previous episodes, he’s always talking about firing the Bird Missiles. Joe missed his chance to fire the first Bird Missile in the previous episode, but now he makes up for it by firing the God Phoenix’s entire supply. He just doesn’t stop pressing that button! And the look of horror on his face when he’s run out of missiles…priceless.
We also get to see Red Impulse for the first time in this episode, albeit briefly. He’ll pop up every now and then for awhile.
The only parts of this episode that drag are when Galactor attacks the ships and destroys the underwater base – scenes of destruction that we see all the time in the show – and the scene where the team out the underwater graveyard.